Taste Radio Episode 183

Death & Co.: Alex Day


If you’ve ever sipped on a craft cocktail, chances are that the drink was influenced by one of a handful of bars at the forefront of modern mixology. That short list includes Death & Co., a venerated haunt in New York City’s East Village that has become a mecca for cocktail enthusiasts. Known for its inventive libations and sleek ambiance, Death & Co.’s focus on delivering an elevated drinking experience has made it an archetype for premium bars and indirectly paved a path for the rise of high quality packaged cocktails.

In an interview included in this episode, Death & Co. co-founder Alex Day spoke about the inception of the bar, which has since opened a second location in Denver and is nearing completion on an outpost in Los Angeles, and the company’s thoughtful approach to innovation and branding. He also explained why articulating Death & Co.’s style is an “ongoing  process,” how consulting taught him the importance of creating systems, why patience is key to its recruitment process and why the company considers itself a content creator as much as a bar.

In this Episode

2:41: Interview: Alex Day, Co-Founder, Death & Co. — BevNET’s John Craven and Mike Schneider met with Day at his home in Portland, Maine where he spoke about his foray into the cocktail scene, how he eventually became a co-founder of Death & Co. and why “cocktail socialism” drives the bar’s innovation strategy. He also explained why “we have to consider the Instagram moment” and how the company works with influencers, why a collective interview is part of the hiring process, the Picasso quote that defines his approach to planning and why Death & Co.’s Denver and Los Angeles locations are not replicas of the New York City bar. Later, he discussed why “maintaining the brand’s integrity is  challenging,” whether there is a bubble in the craft cocktail scene, why you should never “follow trends out of fatigue,” and why some of the best bartenders he’s trained have been baristas

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